How to show genuine enthusiasm in an interview

By Stefan Mancevski

Hiring managers and recruiters find it very easy to see through faked enthusiasm for their company or the role they’re hiring for. Because they’ve interviewed so many people for various positions, it’s second nature to them to know which candidates are putting on a show and which candidates are the real deal.

These people have their own reasons for loving their work and company, so they know a good deal about why you might be a great fit for their team. Here are a few things you can do to show genuine enthusiasm in your interview.

Care about the company – and about the person across from you

At JobHero, we love to talk about how important research is to a candidate’s success. Not doing your research is a surefire way to make a bad impression. So take the time to read articles, blogs, and social media posts by and about the company. This can come directly from the company, from various news sources, or from the personal Twitter accounts of your interviewer, would-be co-workers, and vocal company executives.

The information you gather will make interview prep a breeze. It’s easy to show you care about the company and the interviewer when you know what they’re talking about, what they’re celebrating, and what issues they’re facing. You’ll be able to use that information to position yourself as an asset. Talk about the pain points the company faces and how you can help address them. It’s an easy way to show you did your due diligence and are legitimately excited to contribute to the team.

Give praise – but don’t ignore concerns

In your research, you’ll find the good, the bad, and the ugly. Give praise for the good – companies love it when a candidate is up to date on their most recent successes. Try to start a conversation about a recent win — maybe they released a new product you’re using — and how it will positively impact the company.

But also come with your concerns. An interview is not just a chance for you to be judged. It’s also an opportunity for you to judge the company. Cultural fit works both ways. If an interviewer dodges or gets frustrated by your concerns, it might be a warning sign about the company’s culture. Furthermore, showing your interviewer that you’re aware of the company’s struggles will impress them and give them confidence that you know what you’re talking about.

Come with ideas

A surefire way to show enthusiasm is to show you’re already thinking about what you can do to succeed in the role. If you’re, say, a marketing professional, read up on a marketing campaign that the company ran. What did they do right? What went wrong? What can be done better? Come up with ideas of your own to answer these questions or your own alternative campaign ideas.

Bring up these things in the interview and you’ll show intellectual curiosity and drive to get started. The interviewer will see that the only thing stopping you from contributing true and immediate value to their team is their offer letter to you.

Showing genuine enthusiasm is as easy as coming prepared, but the impression you leave behind will be of a candidate who truly cares, is ready and eager to contribute, and will be deeply invested in the company’s success. Take the little bit of extra effort to do your research and prep before an interview – the return will be more than worth your time.

And the easiest way to take that extra effort is to keep your job search organized. Take advantage of JobHero, a free web & mobile job search dashboard for job seekers to organize and manage your job search. Save jobs to apply to later, track your progress with applications you’ve sent, upload and tag relevant documents, and set reminders and due dates for critical follow ups.

Stefan Mancevski is a co-founder at JobHero, a free web & mobile job search dashboard for job seekers to organize, optimize, and upgrade their job search. Check out the dashboard and more great job search advice at You can follow Stefan on Twitter at @smancevski and JobHero at @gojobhero.

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